Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Google Sites Grrrrrrreat!

Wordle: google sites

Tool:  Google Sites is a tool that I implemented as an assessment tool in my Spanish 3 classes.  Each class of students developed a class website with information on various professions, but in Spanish of course!  Each group of students collaboratively worked on a page for the site and was in charge of specific profession.   They had to include on their page what we were studying...characteristics of a person, professions, and the present subjunctive with verbs of influence along with some other fun features like links to resources, gadgets and images. 
Results/Reflection: The project itself went very well and the students were very engaged in what they were doing.  It was amazing to see what they put together and also know that the students had practiced a skill (web page creation) that would be beneficial in their future!  In addition, they successfully integrated what we were learning in a contextual and real life way.

  • Set up a blank web site template for each class prior to introducing the project to students.    That way they can go and start working on their pages immediately. 
  • For giving students access to the group site, the easiest way is to create one class account and give all the students the same username and password.  The nice thing about Google Sites is you can always revert back to an earlier edited version. 
  • If you want to have each student login with their own username/password, they will each need to set up a google account.  This can take some time...So, I would suggest having them do this prior to going into the lab (maybe as a homework assignment?).  They will also all need to have an e-mail address.    You cannot send out invites to the Google Site Template you set up until the students have created and activated their Google Accounts.  
  • Have students manually save regularly.  Many students are used to using programs that automatically save and forgot to save some of their stuff.  I brought a little bell into the lab and would ring it every 10-15 minutes to remind them to do this. :)